Still one of the leading lights of the Australian strand of guitar-strummed, literate indie pop-rock, Underground Lovers have influenced the sound of many local bands over the years, from The Sleepy Jackson to Blank Realm and on to Shining Bird. They'll no doubt continue to hold that sphere of influence with their latest and one of their best albums.
Gilberto Gil, recently named as Brazil's minister of culture, has always trodden a very individual path in Brazilian music. But even by his own standards, this is an unusual work. The Zumbi of the title is a Brazilian hero. He founded Palmares Quilombo, a place in Brazil where escaped and freed slaves could live as they had in Africa. Until closed by the Portuguese, Palmares Quilombo lasted almost 100 years. Z is a celebration of the man, conceived as a ballet, celebrating the 300th anniversary of Zumbi. The music here is actually a collaboration between Gil, the great songwriter and musician Carlinhos Brown, and Rodolfo Stroter, who was musical director for the project (however, the album appears under Gil's name).